After a recent tour of Sempra Energy’s 10MW solar energy plant in El Dorado, near Boulder City, Nevada, Pacific Crest financial analyst, Mark Bachman said in an investor note that Sempra was planning a 50MW addition to the site and that First Solar had again been selected for module supply. The deal was expected to be announced in a few weeks, Bachman said in the note.
First Solar had supplied the original modules for the new 10MW plant that was completed in December, 2008. The thin film manufacturer had also handled engineering, procurement and construction as well as monitoring and plant maintenance.
Bachman noted that; ‘there was an abundance of 72.5W panels in the field, which suggests our cost/watt is probably closer to $3.30/W than the $3.17 we reported on Dec. 16, when we also suggested an installed cost/watt of $0.075/kWh. A more refined LCOE estimate would be closer to $0.12/kWh, while we believe the output was sold to PG&E under a PPA at roughly $0.14/kWh.’
The Pacific Crest financial analyst had recently claimed that First Solar had been the first PV producer to reach grid parity within certain regions. The latest potential supply deal for First Solar was not in Bachman’s expected order stream, indicating further market share gains for the CdTe thin film module manufacturer.